View Full Version : Laying out a bracelet with microsoft publisher and a photocopier

09-10-2008, 09:37 PM
As a working jeweler and engraver, I have been laying out bracelets with dividers and a straight edge. The designs work but can be uneven and there are scribe lines. One day, while using Publisher to do my jewelry appraisals, I discovered some of the features, and now lay out ALL my tapered bracelets this way. I am no computer whiz, and have taken pics of the monitor to show the ideas.
I used 16ga Sterling, as I knew I was going to pierce the bracelet. With a stippled background, 18ga could be used as well as saving several hours of sawing time, and with a bracelet former that domes the piece as it bends even 20ga could be used.
To start, open publisher, and chose blank page and full page. At this point, scroll the screen up to the top of the page and adjust the image to show seven inches on the ruler across the top. Make sure the wizard screen is open on the left side.
Click on the oval tool from the menu on the left side. go to the blank page and left click, drawing the line down and over. If you hold shift it will form a perfect circle. Adjust the size to the maximum width of your bracelet, in my case 1 1/4". As I am making a six in. bracelet, I center the circle on the 4 of the top ruler, so my bracelet will run from the 1inch to the 7inch. I also put the top of the circle at 7/8" so the bottom is 2 1/8" on the left side ruler (because my circle is 1 1/4 inch.
Then going to the straight line tool at the left hand tool box, I click on that, then click at the top, center of my circle, and extend to the left to the 1" mark and move on the end of the line down 1/8"-1/4" to form the taper. If you want a border, you can do a second line inside that one by the margin of your border.
I then use the circle tool again, and add an oval on the end, to form the curved end of the bracelet. This can be as gentle or as severe as you like.
This is where it gets easy, or fun or whatever.
Go to edit, at the top menu of the page, and click "select all". Then click on copy, and finally "paste. The leg of the bracelet with the center circle and the end oval will show up. DONT TOUCH THEM!!
Go just above the screen and find the two tone right triangles. Pick the one that will horizontally flip the pasted image. You will get a mirror image. Move that up until the circles align and you have 1/2 of your bracelet.
Go back to the edit menu and do the select all, copy and paste, and you have the entire side duplicated. Use the mirror triangles and reverse that image, then move the image until the center circle lines up.
At this point the basic tapered bracelet is laid out. There are extra lines etc., but don't worry about that. Go to File at the very top, and save the bracelet as it can be used over and over.
At this point a click select all, copy and paste and make several bracelet forms, an inch apart., then I print the page.

09-10-2008, 09:43 PM
The next thing I do is use white out to remove all the extra line from the original. I then draw the design, scroll or pattern on ONE side of the image, and using a photocopier, make several copies, moving the page down each time so I have three or four on the page. I then cut one pattern out with scissors, and ,lining up the edges, tape it into place. Then I copy that, and have a twoside bracelet laid out, and ready to transfer. I make several copies again, and depending on the complexity I use either the acetone transfer method, with the copier image, or scan the result back into the computer and use Mr. Whites transfer solution.

09-10-2008, 09:54 PM
With the design transfered onto the silver, I engrave the scroll outlines and the borders. It is easier for me to do this before I saw the piece out, as it fits into the vice better.
Next I drill the spaces and saw out the openings. I use a jewelers saw frame with 3/0 blades, then clean the sawing up with a small barrette file ( it cuts on the bottom and is a shallow triangle on the top. I have ground the top flatter to fit into tighter spaces.
After it is cleaned up, I saw the outside, and file the edges.
I finally detail the engraving, using a 120 graver.
This was all done at my workplace with an ancient gravermeister and Ruby stone for sharpening. I have my own better set up at home where I do my own work.
The final step, before bending, is to make sure that you mark all your pieces. If you mark it Sterling, you are supposed to "hallmark" the piece, making your recognizable mark. As I did this at work, I used the stores hallmark, but added my own, so when I am famous, they can say that this is a Bockemuehl.

09-10-2008, 10:02 PM
This my first time trying to post something like this, and it didn't come out as well as I would have wished. Sorry the photos don't blow up more too, but thanks for looking, and this really works.

09-11-2008, 09:40 PM
I was curious how much time I could save by stippling the background instead of sawing, so I used the saved bracelet layout, removed the two outer lines and brought the end ovals in to make a 5 inch long bracelet, about 1 inch wide. I have scanned the cut bracelet here, which is another tip... on flat items you can photocopy rather than using a smoke pull and get a very nice and quick image. I am 7 hours into this bracelet, with another 1 hour in forming and polishing, about half the time of the original pierced bracelet.
Another time saving tool is, if you work in precious metals, buy a rock polishing wheel set at a yard sale, and use the belts to shape the edges of your blanks, all the way up to prepolish. The water will keep the dust down and the metal will be saved in the bottom of the collecter.
I use the publisher method to lay out belt buckles, bolo ties as well as bracelets, as well as anything else I need, to transfer images onto exact sizes, at the cost of time and a sheet of paper.
Thanks, Will